Lashing Out

I don’t mean to brag, but I think I can confidently say that I have perfected the role of a perpetual “Before” picture when it comes to day-to-day beauty.

While I will occasionally splurge and risk life, limb and sanity to get my eyebrows waxed, more often than not my attempts at beauty wind up with me at work with a forgotten Velcro roller in my hair, resentment over having to wear a real “big girl” bra (for social convention, not out of necessity) and chicken tracks under my eyes from sneezing while applying mascara.

I just have no interest, and we’re past the point of no return.

But I do wear a little foundation—handy to cover up bruises, hypothetically speaking—and a coat of mascara, which is what brings me to my point today. I had to buy new mascara.


What. The. Hell. People.

I had a $2 coupon for Cover Girl, so I went to the store to find out how to be Easy, Breezy and Beautiful — which sounds a bit slutty, yet intriguing — and was bombarded with approximately 405 different options.

I could be a Lash Fanatic or engage in Lashperfection, Lashwrap, Lashblast Fusion, LashExact, Luxe, Mousse and an All-In-One professional option that I assume will also staple and collate any inner-office memos in a passive aggressive way.

I needed a coupon for liquor at that point — not something that promised Eye Brightening with an Elasta-Nylon formula.

So even though I didn’t have a coupon for Maybelline, I shifted my minimally mascara-ed gaze over to that section in a quest to answer the eternal question: “Maybe she’s born with it? Maybe it’s Maybelline?”

More like, “Maybe it’s a crap shoot?”

Here I was presented with 4,367 different options that specialized in curl, definition, length, long wearing, volume, washable, waterproof, Volum’Express, XXL curl, Lash Stiletto and Lash Discovery with promises that with a swipe of a (curved, flexible, stiff or extended) wand, I could have dramatically curled, extended, mega plush up to 85 or 300 percent visibly longer lashes amped up 3, 5, 7, 9, or 11 times the normal volume.

All without clumps.


My head of limp and lifeless hair was spinning.

While L’Oreal promised to “millionize” my lashes, that sounded like entirely too many. As it is, my meager eyelashes often end up in my eyes—way to do your job of keeping crap out of my eyes, eyelashes!—and having a million around would just complicate things. So even though the packaging was screaming, “Because you’re worth it!” I really didn’t think it was worth jabbing my fingers in my eyes to retrieve a million voluptuous lashes — or $9.

But that’s not all!

It also turns out that when mascara just isn’t enough—I know, how could it not be with all of these options?—one can also invest in eyelash extensions and prescription eyelash enhancers. In other words, Rogaine and Viagra for eyelashes.

I can only imagine the product development team at these companies had a three martini lunch when this particular idea was tossed out there on the table.

Let’s just file it under “things that don’t need to be things.”

Anyway, after weighing my options I defaulted to the same $5 mascara I’ve been buying for years—the basic Maybelline in the pink tube—answering the question that yes, those chicken tracks under my eyes are Maybelline.

Because, after all, I’m worth it.

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27 responses to “Lashing Out

  1. Yes. You are worth it! I say that every time I get a new piece of make up. Then, I get black goop all over my face trying to get mascara or eye liner on. I’m not the most skilled at getting my face made up. But, I do love perusing. It’s like a veritable smorgasbord.

  2. Hey, soul-sister!

    Guess which mascara I wear? Only the basic Maybelline in the pink tube…

  3. Basic maybelline in the pink tube. Same here. I get overwhelmed with makeup options. Not good at painting my face…

  4. I haven’t worn mascara since 1992, but with all the lash-flapping that goes on in commercials these days, I was afraid this was happening in the makeup aisle. I wonder what stores used to sell in that shelf space before Cover Girl decided we needed 2 miles of mascara options…?

  5. Makeup? Let’s talk Makeup. I find it hilarious that girls working behind the makeup counter wear lab coats… like they’re solving cold fusion instead of pushing M&M flavored lip gloss to teeny boppers.

    Also, I guess you better consult immediately with said lab-coated professional if your eyelashes remain stiff for more than four hours.

  6. This. is. genius.

    The girl who probably won’t shower today

  7. If we cashed in all the mascara tubes in American stores we could feed all the children in India. I bet they have gorgeous lashes already.

  8. I actually just switched from CG (Lash Blast) to Maybelline (Falsies) and am really happy with the move. But I say when in doubt stick with what you know works for you. All this to say, yes. There are far too many choices when it comes to lash-darkening/lengthening/thickening/everythingening.

  9. That was hilarious! and, yes, it does seem like there a way too many options!

  10. I’m a big fan of getting my mascara from either the makeup counter at the department store or Sephora so I can try the stuff out before I buy it. Because I’m worth it!

  11. This is why once I find a type of make up I like, I pray to the heavens they make it forever. I get great anxiety if I like a mascara then they stop making it. Why can’t they just make like five different kinds that do the job?

    I only wear Diorshow and friends freak out about how much I spend. But I really like it and I refuse to buy anything else, until they don’t make it anymore. Every time I have a girlfriend over and we’re getting ready without fail I’ll get the, “You know blah blah blah brand works just as well.” And I say, “So go ahead and use that.”

  12. I wear the Lash Stiletto stuff which I guess stilletto-izes my five to ten eyelashes. I’d hate to know the breakdown of how much it costs to mascara my eyelashes, it’s probably a dollar an eyelash per mascara tube.

  13. I’m with you, Abby! I don’t have to go to work so now only wear mascara when meeting friends for drinks so that’s a good thing but i recently needed a new tube and after wandering the aisles of Target wishing i had a klonopin I finally picked one of the Maybelline Colossal options simply because the pink tube smears within minutes of my applying it. Ridiculous and embarrassing.

  14. BAHAHA. I loved this post! I buy Lancome foundation (foundation and blush is the only thing I really invest in, beauty-wise) only when they have the “gift with purchase” options, and then I just use whatever free tiny mascaras come with those. I feel extra special using the little sticks – the same kind of power that comes when eating broccoli florets and imagining they are trees. ANYWAY, I could never find a mascara that said both “length” and “volume” on it, so when I did buy it, I always chose the fat lashes over the long ones. Maybelline Colossal Volume, I think (yellow packaging). It was my favorite, but you were still screwed if you sneezed.

  15. This made me laugh out loud (which is a problem because I’m at work). Definitely empathize with your mascara plight.

    PS: try putting Scotch tape under your eyes before you put on mascara and eyeshadow- any mistakes can instantly be taken off with minimal damage.

  16. I might have just made my roommates stop and stare from how hard I laughed at this.

  17. Just yesterday I put out a call for help on FB. What’s your favorite mascara? The one I’m using flakes. How can I choose from the jillion choices in the drugstore? By using this professional survey of my FB friends, I have now narrowed it down to 6 options. Now what?

    • Well, considering that tomorrow’s Halloween, it might not be a bad day to experiment. If you look like a hooker, at least you can claim it’s a costume.

  18. I laughed through this entire post! Ive only worn almay one coat since like 2006 when I discovered it. Although the one coat thing is complete BS- anyone over the age of 30, or anyone who has any children that wears this mascara uses no less than 3 coats or they look like they have less eyelashes than they started with. I am not good at makeup- I’m proud if I’ve just handled hygiene and my shoes match (each other, not my clothes) but I will swear by the fact that the single most important gift for a new mother is bare minerals “well rested” eye makeup. I wish I’d discovered it long before having kids. I reapply it each time I drink a cup of coffee. Some days I look pretty scary, yet extraordinarily alert.

  19. I have picked the pink container for years. It is the only one that sticks to the lashes as I laugh so hard I cry. I wish I had put it on today. 😉

  20. Ahahahhahahahahahhahaha! Abby this post is sofa king funny!

    I don’t wear makeup either. Except for mascara. And I am an EXPERT in that area. My favorite is LASH-BLAST because it never leaves chicken tracks under your eyes- even if you were sneezing while applying it!

  21. I was whimpering with exhaustion after reading this post. Not having to deal with all these grooming products and dilemmas’s added to my day, but also made me feel more sorry about yours. Clinging to the concept of inner beauty may be a way forward or not as the case may be. I always love your posts, and even though the problem isn’t mine, you left me chuckling

  22. I wear mascara about once every six months. You know how they tell you to throw it out every three months? Yeah, it’s not an efficient process.

  23. kelleysbreakroom

    Yeah, mascara is out of control. Yet, somehow u don’t give up the search each and every time I need a new tube from Walgreens. I HAVE BEEN BRAINWASHED.

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